17 Things I Wish I Knew About Life Before I Turned 18

null
Ronaldo Oliveira / Unsplash

1. You are in control of your own fate. Before you know it you will arrive at that point where your life is falling apart. You will feel your life beginning to change, you can either transform or drown in regrets.

2. A broken heart is inevitable. You will love a girl and she won’t deserve you, which is worse than unrequited love.

3. You will figure out who you are. I know it seems impossible, but you will understand who you are. The shame will not last, you will learn how to embrace yourself. Breathe.

4. The more you learn, the more you see ignorance spill out of the mouths of the ones you loved. It is a tragic fact that not everyone will have the capacity in their hearts to help others.

5. The monster in your head is not your friend. The anxiety will creep up on you slowly, lurking in the shadows before it begins to feast upon the very essence of you. Soon you will not know who you are without your illness, but you will realize it is not you, it is an illness that just happens to live inside your head. You do not need to provide a home for it.

6. You aren’t alone if you can only connect with one person. Or no one at all. Finding someone who we can truly be ourselves around rarely happens, don’t cry about it too much. The most beautiful connections we make find us when we least expect it, and they are worth the wait.

7. Wisdom comes from experience. Perhaps you feel wise because you’ve seen so much pain with your own eyes, but the most authentic wisdom comes from feeling that pain.

8. The first time you like a girl will be confusing. You’ll desperately try to convince yourself you only want to be friends, or that you wish you could be her. Figuring out who you are in a world overflowing with ignorance is hard, but I promise you that one day it will make sense. (This applies to anyone attracted to people of the same gender.)

9. It’s difficult to discover yourself in a world that seeks to erase you. When you’re born different from the majority and the people in power, you become aware of it. You will make attempts to shrink into yourself and disguise yourself behind a mask, but you will never be truly happy unless you learn how to live without fear.

10. Nothing in this world worth having ever arrives easily. Expect to fight for anything you want. People will tear you down and sometimes you will be your own biggest critic and you will sabotage yourself when you fall (and you will, a lot) get back up again. If you never take any steps towards what you want you will never have it.

11. Sometimes life will feel like climbing a mountain with an unknown destination. Most of your life will feel this way if you are living it the way you are meant to. Keep climbing.

12. You will reach a point you must decide whether to give up or continue. Choose to continue, you will never be satisfied with your life if you never dare to work for what you desire. People so rarely make their dreams a reality, be one of those rare shooting stars.

13. You cannot be honest without tact. Without tact, you are simply spreading cruelty.

14. Not everyone has the same idea of love as you do. That doesn’t mean you are “too much” or “destined to never find love.” All it means is you may take a little longer, you may need to navigate your way through people who simply aren’t enough for you.

15. Love is not meant to hurt. It is meant to feel safe, if you cannot trust them and they constantly berate you and make you miserable it isn’t love.

16. You aren’t weak for being a victim. You are a survivor. You are not weak, you are a strong person who fell into abuse, which was and never will be your fault.

17. Don’t waste your breath on them if they refuse to listen the first time. I know you can’t stand to watch them make the same mistake you did, but you cannot save anyone. Sometimes you need to accept they will get hurt and there’s nothing you can do about it. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

Sponsored by Homecoming available now on Amazon Prime Video

The People Bringing You Delicious Dairy

A new Thought Catalog series exploring our connection to each other, our food, and where it comes from.

Meet Emily Turner